Confirmation came this morning, like a brilliant ray of sunshine screaming through a cloud cover. Taylor Hall, local hero with icon rising, is back from injuries suffered from his latest battle with iron. Across the city, on twitter, in the malls and cafes and donair shops, excitement began to build. The team had learned a thing or two about winning in his absence, but the King is back and it’s time to roll!


A quick glance at the forward group points out Hall’s value AND gives us an idea about the Nuge’s good work in No. 4’s time away. A few other items from this graph:

  • There are four men over 2.00/60 at 5×5, it has to be very tempting for Dallas Eakins to keep the top line ‘as is’ and run Hall with another set.
  • David Perron isn’t scoring, but the offense is there. I wonder if placing him with Arco and Hall might help the veteran winger. Of course, Perron and Yak have been playing well together, so maybe not.
  • The Corsi’s are dancing this season. Dallas Eakins’ deployment of that 4line to take on the monsters under the bed (well, own-zone starts) is really benefiting.
  • I remain convinced Leon Draisaitl is a draft winner (maybe the only one from the 2014 Oilers edition) but he owns an 84% offensive zone-start and is scoring at basically 1/1. I think 1.50 is defensible, but if he can’t turn this around it behooves Craig MacTavish to make a move before an entire season of development is gone.
  • Pakarinen! Finns! I swear they count double. 

    oilers nuge driver

    Amen. Nuge can push the river now, we saw that with Hall out, and two scoring lines appears possible for the first time in exactly forever. A center will be required for the Hall line and that will probably be discussed for the rest of the season—for some reason the Oilers are officially stubborn on bringing in an actual NHL center and we have to sit here until they show us how smart they are—but the makings of something special offensively have arrived well before Christmas.

    tych hall quote

    I don’t know what to say about the power play. Maybe call a priest? Craig MacTavish used to run the worst power plays in history when he was coach, so maybe he’s giving some advice? As someone who has no idea how to fix it, allow me to jump in with some advice. FIND the guy who can hammer the Nuge’s passes, and then work on that for a day or two. I fear we’ll see Brad Hunt again if this isn’t fixed soon. 


    The Edmonton Oilers are a team in the NHL. By my count, they have two guys on blue (Petry, Fayne) the coach can count on, and two more (Ference, Aulie) Eakins is finding a role for this season. With the announcement this afternoon that Oscar Klefbom has been sent down (along with Finn Pakarinen) it falls to Martin Marincin to force his way into the lineup. At this point, I think the No. 1 candidate for replacement is Niki Nikitin, although your mileage may vary.



    Sarah McLellan of The Arizona Republic has a story up today about Sam Gagner and Joey Moss. It’s a little about Gagner’s transition but it’s also about Moss and his relationship with these Oilers and the ones who have come before.

    • Gagner: “Even when things weren’t going great, he made it a positive day at the
      rink, and I’ll remember Joey and be telling Joey stories forever.”




    GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers give up two quick goals and spend forever clawing back to even. Late in the third period, Taylor Hall winds up in his own zone, goes super nova and does something electric and memorable. 3-2 Oil, with Sam Gagner scoring one and Devan Dubnyk playing well.

    OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers have some wobbly bits in their own end, but find a way this day. It is the only thing Jordan Eberle can call a success, as his beloved Roughriders were humbled earlier by a superior Eskimos team. 


    The power play explodes! Well, they get one goal.

    • Grant

      Biatch-slapped by Dubnyk…..ha ha ha.

      That was just a sad disply of NHL Hockey, nothing about that snooze-fest floats my boat.

      2 more points pissed away due to a lack of Pre-Game planning.Just having Devan in net should have guaranteed 2 points.

      This wasnt just a flat 1st period it was a flat game.

      Without a light of hope all we can do is keep looking down this dark dark abyss and count the seconds until we hear something hit bottom so we know how deep this hole really is.

      They need a Hero.

        • bazmagoo

          The Oilers misread Dubnyks problems,they were coming from Devan,they were coming because of habits he developed by playing in a skewed System for a long time with no consistancy of execution.

          Grant Fuhr found consistancy while getting bombed with rubber every night,there are no excuses,as long as there is consistancy of execution so a Tender can read the playactions developing there are no excuses.

          Dubnyk had a valid excuse,he is proving that now.

          But Devan could have done that here,HAD people correctly identified how and why he was suddenly being lit up with regularity,it was a combonation of System dynamics and his body mechanics,both things could have been slightly modified to make things work,the sme modificatons that need to be made no matter who the Goalie is.

          The same Stand-up defense we will now see implemented would have fit Devan perfectly and prevented those easy-zone entry quick-release goals being scored on him while he was in transition .This is old new and was posted long long ago.

          Before Dubnyks spiral I posted comments saying the Oilers should keep Devan OUT of the extra-curricular side of the game,player/union crap or whatever it was,where he was spending to much time,where his focus was being de-railed,no one listened back then and that was when his decline began.

          I wonder what reasons were considered when they had the meeting about moving Devan?Dont you?

        • bazmagoo

          All upper management needs to go, I’d rather have Messier running the team than Lowe and MacT. Incompetence should not be rewarded with promotions, and this tag team has been in charge in some way, shape, or form since 2000. Please, oh please Edmonton stop going to the games!

        • Spydyr

          Most of us preplan a route to work or having friends over. Sometimes our best layer plans go gaft agoo. These players may be to used to the fine life.A pregame plan may be good for a short time.It actually takes skill imagination and a bit of creativity to play on ice. The Oilers might do better at floor hockey or broom ball?

          • bazmagoo

            If I am brought up to never back down from a fight, no matter my chances of winning that fight, I will still win most fights I truly put the effort into.

            Sometimes that fight will be against someone I have no business beating! And sometimes it will be against someone I have no business losing to..

            I promise you one thing.. if I don’t put up a fight, it doesn’t matter if I should have won or not.

        • bazmagoo

          Everyone here on Earth can see how unprepared this Team is on a nightly basis.

          Tactical preparation not fitness level and mental prep,jesus.

          Do you think other NHL Teams are flying in to Edmonton with some “Stealth System” no one on the bench or ice has ever seen before?

          Coaching is an Art,not a job.

          You can teach anyone to paint but this does not make them an artist.It makes them a painter.

          If you asked an NHL Coach to write you a synopsis of a game,any game,90% of the people reading his work would think it was Greek.A Coaches perspective is an Artists perspective,a Fan or Players perspective is like a Painters perspective,this is why most players have no idea how to Coach effectively.

          Stats applications turn artistic Coaching into a paint-by-numbers dynamic,there is no Artist at work,totally inferior to close inspections.Just fakes.

          Many are called but few are chosen.It is what it is.

          Eakins or Burke or Bowman or any NHL Artist will immediatly recognise another artists work online or anywhere else,make no mistakes about it,when an NHL Coach reads any hockey Blog with good inputs,if they were smart enough to invest the time, they IMMEDIATLY know what data is accurate and valuable no matter who created it or what they call it,and they will use the data and NOT share it with anyone easily.

          If I am not mistaken Dallas Eakins DID reach out into cyberspace to find an asset,his name is Tyler Dellow,so it is what it is,Eakins MUST have recognised his work as being superior in some way,maybe Dallas was mistaken,maybe not,only he knows,and he DOES know by now.

          Winning is not hard to accomplish,but shutting up the MAJORITY MINDSET long enough to get the job done can be dam near impossible,like winning is a Democracy or something,it is dam silly.

          You cannot let the majority perspective define how you lead,never because by proxy they learn by mistake not inference.

          Learning by mistake is the least optimal way of learning,learning by inference is optimal.Teammates learn by mistakes but leaders learn by inference,that is their edge,they DO NOT HAVE TO make mistakes to learn they can read the book and get it right the first time because they can VISUALISE things.

          Rocky provides inferences on what he is seeing ,Coaches do it from the bench,the Players are out there learning by mistake.

          The seamless integration Dallas is looking for can oNLY happen if Rocky and he are inferring the right things,if they arent they are disconnected from the entire game.

          The Oilers have snipped the nuts off of every single Alpha male who has tried to wrest leadership from K-Lowe .This was one battle that was never suppossed to happen internlly,only in the locker room.Lowe was never suppossed to be in that equation.

          A leader would immediatly feel Oilers managements heat and interference and react to it to drive it away from his locker-room ASAP….if you cant do that you cant be a Leader….no one can do that in Edmonton.

          Recently scientists have discovered a “leadership gene”,this trivia is just to shut up the goddam majority here and elsewhere.Deal with it.

          On any Blog,90% of the people dont have a rats ass idea what Coaching to win is about,they are worker bees,and dam good ones.But they ARE the MAJORITY.They DO post and comment on what they are seeing,but it is all through a Worker Bees Glasses.

          Yes, a lack of Pre-Game planning is creating issues for the Oilers,it is clear and obvious and proven out by their game starts and performance curves.

          What goes in is what comes out,right?

          • Spydyr

            Your response makes to much sense for the Oiler PHD
            Management. Solutions continue to be “solved” with Analytics from outer space.Most games have players dressing in their Space Uniforms for a mission to get somewhere! Fans continue to spend $$$ on the Oiler Outer Space Program.Hockey was “never” so complicated! Call in Gary Bettman. Maybe he can explain the voyage for the Earthlings?

    • Thumper5135

      Dubbies is the new Burke disciple. He was good, but Pheonix could make Red Light Racicot look all world. Oilers played a nice game. First goal Scrivens was off his angle, then Pheonix blocked everything and took care of the front of the net.

      Oilers need a PP QB now. Schultz is not it. Hell I’d almost play Brad Hunt on the wing, just so you could have as your PP QB.

    • Spydyr

      the good news is one of our two AB Teams is an actual NHL one and are well on their way in their rebuild.

      how much is a Flames Jersey? Anyone looking to trade? you can use mine as a Halloween Costume since its a horror to wear one out in public lately.

    • BlazingSaitls

      The Oilers continued their futility.The fans had trouble keeping awake.This may well have been a 4 point loss! It may be the end of any dream of making the top 25? Buffalo scored 6 the other night. The Flames continue to win and even entertain. What is left for the Oilers?
      Fans may have to go to Arizona to watch a team with effort! Enjoy the weather in the south. The Oilers have already gone SOUTH.

    • Thumper5135

      Pocklington brought the Oilers to Edmonton and the team won five Stanley cups..and he was basically run out of town. Katz buys the team in 2008 and since then, he has gotten oiler fans three first overall draft picks and a new arena. Are the oiler fans going to wait until you get five overall draft picks before he gets run out of town?

    • Thumper5135

      As a Flames fan, I feel sorry for you the Oiler fans. You have been mistreated by the management team of the Oilers. It isn’t fun to pick on you because you are getting screwed by McT, Lowe, Eakins and Katz. I hope that there will be a change soon for you so the banter between the teams can start again.

      • bazmagoo

        The owner has bought into a multiple year tank job plan, because he’s been sold the only way you can draft good NHL players is with first round picks, by upper management. Pressure won’t be on until people stop going to the games, and Edmonton just doesn’t have anything big to do outside of the Oilers. As a Flames fan you should be aware and afraid of this possibility as well. Shame to see one of the NHL’s storied franchises be flushed down the toilet on purpose repeatedly year after year.

      • Johnnydapunk

        DUDE!! I am totally a Flames fan now!! I actually watch flames games more than the oilers when the tv times conflicts each other!!
        GO FLAMES!!

        You are a total Dork if you hate on the Flames based on our old traditional battles! If you don’t think the Flames completely own the oilers, you should be helping Lowe lick Katz’s Tate clean.

        I give my respect to those that deserve it, and the flames deserve more respect right now, than any other team in the freekin league!!

        Man I wish we had the Flames so freakin bad.. we are getting so screwed. Hahahahah ahhhhh…. ugggghh..